Aug 19, 2010

No short-cut for language learning


I now realized the RAKUTEN sign is attached right at the top of this edit screen in Ameba^^; so speaking of RAKUTEN, this morning there was a special report about the tread of studying English conversation and the president? of RAKUTEN appeared on the screen and talked something about his policy toward English skills, which unfortunately I was too busy to listen to thoroughly. The news said that more and more people are taking English conversation classes this summer. I guess RAKUTEN is fueling the oil into the fashion of such movements, since the president announced the other day all the employees are expected to get a high score with TOEIC and if they fail to get one, ... I don't know, maybe they can't go up a career ladder. I guess.

I suspect the president of RAKUTEN have tons of experiences to work with people from abroad and he knows quite well what you have to do to master English. He should be aware of the difficulty of mastering English skills.

That's said I can't understand why he started to force all the employees to study English. We, Japanese, all learn English for several years and some of them choose to major in English at Univ, but the reality is, quite small number of Japanese are actually able to use English in a real world. I think the number of people, who can use English as freely and comfortably as they use Japanese in the all aspects of language skills; reading, listening, speaking and writing, might be astronomically tiny compared to the number of Japanese who're attending at some English learning schools.

I myself am enjoying English for the last couple of years and if I add the time I spend for doing things in English, reading books, writing blogs, and chatting and exchanging comments with my net friends, it might add up to quite a large one. I can get high scores with TOEIC; the last time, about half a year ago, it was 920 without studying anything to prepare for it, and I don't have time to speak English in daily life, but if I have to have small talk then I can manage it. And as you know, as long as the topic is not difficult I can write anything in English in relatively easily by now.

Considering all of that, it would be in a way extremely humble and self-pitying to say I'm not good at English. However, I've never ever fully satisfied with my English ability and rarely feel comfortable to use English as I use Japanese.

If you want to be a fluent user of English, then you've got to devote yourself in learning English and need to be prepared to share a large part of your free time for learning and enjoying things in English. And also you have to keep in mind that it takes several years before you see the apparent progress in your English skills.

If you're not sure if you can be that serious, then you shouldn't dream about becoming a good user of English. There are lots more intriguing things in our life, why not do something another much easier, practical and fulfilling.

Oh, well, I was meaning to write this message about English study in Japanese, but now it's hard to change my English mood to Japanese, so maybe next time I'll write my message about English learning in Japanese. I hope my message can reach more younger people flocking here in Ameba and some of them will be serious to master English and realize the importance of Tadoku, Tachou, which are not popular yet and some teachers stubbornly try to ignore those new approaches, and other fun but truly efficient approaches to learn English.

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